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Can I wait until I arrive to find a place to live?

The vacancy rate in Vancouver (Downtown or Westside), is 1% or less.

Staying in a Hotel, Hostel or Bed & Breakfast while looking for a furnished or unfurnished apartment can be very expensive. It can take up to a month to find a clean comfortable and affordable place in a location that will be suitable for your needs.

The majority of apartments for rent in Vancouver are unfurnished. You will be required to sign a lease and be responsible for any extra charges and monthly bills. Monthly bills can include phone, cable, gas and electricity, and internet hook-up. Extra charges can include phone connection, and in some cases a $200.00 CAN deposit.

These charges do not apply when you use BELL ACCOMMODATION SERVICES. We give you one monthly rate that includes everything.

Using BELL ACCOMMODATION SERVICES assures you that you will have a comfortable, clean and affordable accommodation waiting for you upon arrival.

No extra charges, no hassles, arrive straight from the airport.

I'm on a budget. Is it safe to live on Vancouver's Eastside?

If you are on a budget and coming to Vancouver, consider Vancouver’s Eastside. Remember we know the neighbourhoods and our staff visit every accommodation we offer. There are a few areas of the Eastside such as the “Main and Hasting” area that are undesirable and we have no accommodation in that area. However there are many more areas that are clean, affordable and family oriented. Some Eastside areas are very close to downtown, 10 or 20 minutes by bus or skytrain. Some are walking distance to downtown.

One of our most popular Eastside neighbourhoods is the Commercial Drive area known as “The Drive.” Many local Vancouver students and people in the arts community make this area their home. There are great cafés and ethnic restaurants, coffee houses, fresh fruit markets. This is considered the “Artsy” area of Vancouver - very young, vibrant and hip. This neighbourhood is one example. There are many others.

What they're saying about Commercial Drive.

Georgia Straight, Fall 2001 Best of Vancouver: One of the city's favourite neighbourhoods and some of the best businesses.

Vancouver Magazine, Sept, 2001 Good Pizza: Pie de Résistance. This is the pizza margherita, the gold standard of pies, and you'll find the best at Marcello.

Beautiful British Columbia Traveller Summer, 2000
by Diane Bailey & Drew McKibben:
One of the hippest strips in Vancouver, Commercial is a saucy blend of ethnic eateries, vintage stores, produce markets, bohemian cafes, Italian barbers, European butchers, Rasta shops, and pasta stops

Do I have to pay for electricity and other utilities when BELL ACCOMMODATION SERVICES find me a place to live?

No. Heat, light, water, phone (local calls only) and cable are all included in your rent. You only pay for your food and personal supplies. The price per month we quote you is firm, there are no additional charges.

Do I have to bring my own sheets, towels, dishes when BELL ACCOMMODATION SERVICES find me a place to live?

No. All linens are provided. The kitchen is fully equipped.

We want you to be comfortable, so please feel free to bring any special kitchenware or linen.

Where are most of BELL'S ACCOMMODATIONS located?

We have places in Vancouver's convenient Westside (e.g. Dunbar and Kits, moderate price to expensive), Vancouver's funky East-Side for the budget minded, (e.g.Fraser, Main), and trendy Downtown (most expensive). All are within an easy, one bus-zone commute. asy, one bus-zone commute. We also provide accommodations in North Vancouver and Burnaby.

How do the buses work?

The city is laid out on the grid system, which the buses follow. They travel North/South or East/West. A commute of 30-40 minutes using one or two buses is considered reasonable. We try to get you the shortest commute (20-30minutes) when we can, on the most direct routes, based on your destination, and budget.

Keeping Greater Vancouver Moving

How much do the buses cost?

People who use the bus daily buy a bus pass each month. It's a fixed rate for an unlimited number of bus journeys. This is the cheapest and most convenient option. As of 2006, the cost of a one-zone bus pass is $69 CAN. A single ticket for one time use is $2.25CAN. Two zones bus pass is $95.00 CAN. A single ticket is $3.25.

How do I convert Canadian dollars to my currency?

The best way is using a universal currency converter.

Can I bring my bike?

Yes! Vancouver is a bike-friendly city. You must wear a helmet and it is advisable to lock up your bike when you leave it. Be sure you tell us if you are bringing your bike so that we can advise the accommodation provider.

Can I live 5-15 minutes walk from my school/office?

Not usually. Schools and offices are usually in non-residential areas. Most Vancouver residents drive, bus or cycle to work and college. The city has extensive designated cycle routes.

Is parking available?

In Vancouver the majority of people park on the street in front of their homes. Some downtown apartments have underground parking. Always check with us first if you are bringing a car. Parking downtown is expensive! Monthly rates start at approx $85.00 CAN.

Do I need health insurance?

Yes. Anyone, student or tourist, visiting British Columbia, should have their own health insurance. Certain individuals, such as some holders of study and/or work permits issued under the Federal Immigration and Refugee Protection Act are deemed to be residents, and may be entitled to BC Medical coverage, but tourists or visitors to B.C. do not qualify. If you are uncertain about your eligibility status, contact

Government of British Columbia

Students travel Insurance

Can I work while living or going to school in Canada?

In almost all cases you must have a valid work permit to work in Canada.

Citizenship and immigration Canada's website has useful information:

For students and others allowed to work while in Vancouver

How much will food cost me?

Food costs depend on diet and quantity, of course, but in general allow about $200 CAN per person per month, if you cook at home. Lunch out is $7-$10 CAN and up, dinner out is $15-$20 CAN and up.

How do I dress for Vancouver's weather?

Vancouver has one of the warmest climates in Canada. It is located on the Pacific Ocean and is part of a temperate rainforest. This means we get rain year round, but mostly between October and April. That's why everything is so beautifully lush and green. Vancouver receives little or no snow in the winter. For fall and winter, bring warm sweaters, socks and shoes, a water-proof rain jacket, hat, gloves and an umbrella. June to September is our summer, warm and a lot less rain, but you will still need raingear occasionally. Outside the business district, people in Vancouver are very casual and tend to dress for an active lifestyle. To get an idea of how people in Vancouver like to dress check-out

When do I get my damage deposit back?

Within 48 hours of your departure date. Please clean and tidy your accommodation to avoid a cleaning or damage fee being deducted.

CONTACT US:   email:   |   phone:  604-875-1742   |   fax:  604-875-1752